As a National Estuary Project, the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP) is responsible for leading, supporting, and tracking implementation of the Tillamook Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, or "The CCMP". Developed after five years of scientific research and public planning, the CCMP contains 63 actions that recommend specific approaches to improving ecosystem function throughout the Tillamook Bay watershed, while promoting regional economic development.
TEP's primary goals are to:
- Enhance water quality to meet state and federal standards;
- Restore native salmonid populations;
- Reduce the frequency and impacts of catastrophic flooding; and
- Encourage stewardship among our residents and visitors.
To reach these goals, TEP and its many partners:
- Implement targeted resource enhancement projects,
- Further characterize our estuaries and watersheds, and
- Educate citizens and visitors about natural resources and the importance of stewardship.
TEP takes on these activities through four Programs.
Habitat Enhancement Program
The Habitat Enhancement Program develops and implements on-the-ground projects aimed at improving the production and function of natural systems. Typical projects include riparian (streamside) revegetation, floodplain and wetlands restoration, fish passage improvement, invasive species removal, and instream enhancements.
Research and Monitoring Program
The Research and Monitoring Program seeks to further characterize the interactions of human and natural systems within Tillamook County's five major estuaries and their watersheds. The R&M Program is also responsible for tracking system-wide trends and evaluating the effectiveness of CCMP implementation.
The Education Program works to facilitate a stewardship ethic among visitors and residents of Tillamook County. The program delivers environmental education to K-14 classrooms as well as adult audiences. Emphasis is placed on hands-on learning and activities.
Local Grant Program (LGP)
The Local Grant Program (LGP) funds projects that are developed and managed by TEP's community partners in support of CCMP implementation. LGP funds support projects that enhance habitats, monitor water quality, and provide natural resource education or training. TEP awards grants up to $10,000.
The annual TEP Workplan details the projects that TEP undertakes within each of these programs. The role of TEP staff in implementing projects varies considerably according to the project type and the needs of partners. Many of TEP's projects are managed in-house, and staff leads project development, funding, and implementation. On other projects TEP may play a support role and provide only technical, financial, or administrative assistance.
Several years ago, the TEP Education Committee decided that they wanted to publicly honor some of the many people in our community whose everyday lives epitomize the natural resource stewardship ethic. The citizen or community group is chosen each year out of an impressive array of nominees whose efforts are vital to sustaining the quality of life we all cherish in Tillamook County.